EYFS and Nursery


At Great Corby School and Nursery, we encourage each individual child to become a successful life-long learner by igniting their curiosity, developing their love for learning and instilling a desire to achieve.

We welcome children to join our nursery from 3 years of age. Children in Nursery and Reception are immersed in a rich learning environment filled with awe and wonder, where opportunities and experiences allow them to flourish in all aspects of their development. This includes opportunities in indoor, outdoor, and regular visits to our Forest School site, where activities are planned to excite, intrigue and motivate children in their learning.

We appreciate that all children are different and by working in partnership with parents and our community we pride ourselves on being an inclusive school which is nurturing and has a clear focus on how each individual child learns.

The Curiosity Approach

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.

Great Corby School’s Early Years is extremely proud to have completed The Curiosity Approach accreditation. This approach aims to bring curiosity, awe and wonder into early childhood and create the ‘thinkers & doers’ of the future by allowing children to explore natural objects and use their imagination. This aims to encourage much higher levels of well-being, independence and confidence; and we promote this approach throughout Great Corby School’s Early Years.

Our EYFS Curriculum at Great Corby School

The Framework splits the curriculum into 'Prime Areas' and 'Specific Areas'. In our Early Years, neither of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a careful balance of adult led, child initiated and enhanced provision activities. 

Prime Areas:  

  • Communication and Language Development
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development  
  • Physical Development  

Specific Areas:  

  • Literacy  
  • Mathematics  
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Throughout the Early Years, children experience and investigate the world through quality hands-on experiences and creative opportunities. An inclusive approach ensures individual needs of both boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

The Early Years at Great Corby School and Nursery caters for children from the term after their 3rd birthday. We currently offer both the 15-hours universal free entitlement to all 3 and 4 year olds and the 30-hours funding to those families eligible. We can accomdate additional sessions,  at a cost of £5 per hour. These sessions can be booked  through the school office.

All children will be able to either take up places as a school day (08.50-3.20) or half day (08.50-12.00 or 12.00-3.20).

If needed, those in receipt of the 30-hours funding can use some of their entitlement beyond the school day (8.00 - 8.50 and 3.2000-6.00). Please speak to the office if you would be interested in accessing ‘wraparound’ childcare. Equally, this service will be provided as fee-paying for those not eligible for funding.

Communication and Language

Communication and Language

Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, storytelling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, persist and wait for what they want and direct their attention, as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and independently manage personal needs. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate, and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.

Personal Development
Physical Development

Physical Development

By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination, and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow the children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.


It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them as well as enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).



By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space, and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries, and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes, and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically, and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Understanding the World
Expressive Art and Design

Expressive Art and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear, and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary, and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to, and observe.

EYFS and Nursery Newsletters